Awesome Foundation

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Awesome Foundation Logo

The Awesome Foundation for the arts and sciences is an international network of autonomous chapters of philanthropists that provide small grants for projects to "people devoted to forwarding the interest of awesomeness in the universe."[1] Most chapters consist of ten trustees who pool contributions in a crowd-funding model and award a $1,000 grant[2] each month to a project and person of their choice. Awesome chapters assume no ownership of the projects they fund and provide the funds with no strings attached.[3]


The Awesome Foundation was founded by Tim Hwang in Boston in 2009. Tim developed the idea along with Emily Daniels and Jon Pierce, during a road trip to a meet up at AS220 and soon after sent out the call for the first set of trustees.[4] Less than two weeks after the call, the foundation announced its first trustees.[5]

Notable projects[edit]

The Awesome Foundation has funded a wide range of projects including the arts, science, and social causes. Examples include creating a free library system in Chicago using birdhouses,[6] growing mushrooms from phonebooks in Ottawa[7] and theatre for street youth in Edmonton.[8]

The inaugural $1,000 grant from the organization went towards the construction of a giant, long hammock in Boston.[9] The resulting final project set a record for the world's largest portable hammock,[10][11] using curved steel pipes to frame 4,278 feet of rope fashioned from recycled bottles.[12][irrelevant citation]

A video of Random Swings of Joy,[13] a project funded by the Los Angeles chapter to install $1,000 worth of swings around the city, went viral in June 2011, receiving coverage from the Huffington Post,[14] CBS News,[15] and LAist.[16] Swings have also been installed in The Marshal Islands, Panama, San Francisco, and Toronto. Following the success of the Los Angeles video, Jeff Waldman started a kickstarter project to bring the project to Bolivia,[17] where the median age in 2011 was just 22.5.[18]


There are 72 active chapters[19] of the organization in operation. Chapters are based in cities or small locales around the world with four chapters dedicated to specific causes worldwide. Chapters are autonomous, though the original Boston chapter spearheaded an organizational model of consensus-based decision-making.[20] Chapters have access to all of the applications that the Awesome Foundation receives, though many will first look at applicants in their geographic area.[21]

Institute on Higher Awesome Studies[edit]

The Awesome Foundation is an autonomous collection of chapters, but is loosely shepherded by the Institute on Higher Awesome Studies. The Institute has applied for non-profit 501(c)3 status, and seeks to provide infrastructure (such as the Awesome Foundation website) and spread Awesome as widely as possible.[22]

Awesome Foundation trustees and board members include


  1. ^ "About Us". The Awesome Foundation. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  2. ^ "The Awesome Foundation". Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  3. ^ "The Awesome Foundation". PhilanthropyWiki. Archived from the original on September 9, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  4. ^ "The Awesome Foundation Seeks Awesome Trustees". June 5, 2009. Archived from the original on 2014-01-17. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  5. ^ "The Awesome Foundation Micro-Trustees". June 23, 2009. Archived from the original on 2013-12-22. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  6. ^ Boodhoo, Niala (August 3, 2011). "Changing Chicago, $1,000 at a time". Michigan Radio. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Innovation: Talking with Awesome Ottawa". sense and community. April 28, 2011. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  8. ^ Stolte, Elise (October 11, 2011). "Edmonton philanthropists support 'awesome' projects". Edmonton Journal. Archived from the original on January 17, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  9. ^ Moore, Galen (August 3, 2009). "Awesome Foundation goes low tech with first grant". Mass High Tech. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Largest Portable Hammock - world record set by Hansy Better Barraza". World Records Academy. August 20, 2010. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  11. ^ "The Awesome Foundation Rocks the World's Largest Portable Hammock". August 21, 2010. Archived from the original on 2014-04-14. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  12. ^ "The Big Hammock". Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Jeff Waldman’s Swing Project". NOTCOT. June 15, 2011. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Jeff Waldman And Team Install Swings: Los Angeles (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. August 15, 2011. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  15. ^ Goodman, William (June 14, 2011). "Interesting project installs swings all over Los Angeles". CBS News. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  16. ^ William-Ross, Lindsay (June 14, 2011). "The Swingin' Set: 50 Renegade Swings Installed Around L.A.". LAist. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Swings: Bolivia". Kickstarter. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  18. ^ "The World Factbook: Bolivia". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Current Chapters". The Awesome Foundation. Retrieved September 1, 2015. 
  20. ^ Xu, Christina (August 18, 2011). "The Awesome Foundation Fosters News Innovation, $1K at a Time". PBS. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  21. ^ "FAQ – The Awesome Foundation". Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b c "Trustees". Awesome Food. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  24. ^ a b c d "Institute on Higher Awesome Studies - About the Institute". Retrieved January 25, 2012. 

External links[edit]